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Immigration's environmental impact deserves greater study

The main point to be drawn from Tom Horton's article about immigration's impact on the Chesapeake Bay region is that there's no way to separate population problems from environmental problems, and vice versa ("Immigration's impact," Sept. 3).

Advocates for both issues have failed to acknowledge this fact for far too long, but the hot-button issue of immigration makes it impossible for them to continue to maintain their distance.

As Mr. Horton noted, whatever the merits of immigration reform, immigration will remain the primary factor in U.S. population growth, which, if present rates continue, will swell from our present 315 million to some 445 million by mid-century.

This cannot help but put enormous pressure not only on the Chesapeake Bay area, but on all of the nation's natural habitats, and by extension, our social and economic well-being as well.

It is interesting to note that while the federal government sees fit to promulgate environmental and immigration policies, it shies away from doing so when it comes to population policy.

Given the current situation, this is clearly wrong-headed. At the very least, we should have a national Commission on Population to assess the impact not only of immigration, but every social and economic development that may impact population growth.

Howard Bluth, Baltimore

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